Husband, Father, Owner of Marine Specialties & More


“Don’t get too busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” This quote is posted on Tom Child’s office wall and it seems quite fitting for a man that has built a successful marine construct ion company from the ground up, has raised two beautiful daughters and still finds time to give back and go on spontaneous adventures with family.

Though this success didn’t come overnight. Tom Child, owner of Marine Specialties, came to Georgia at just 19 years old to visit his uncle that lived in Dunwoody and much to everyone’s surprise, Tom decided to stay. Instead of returning to Chicago and family back home, he began building a life here in Georgia. Initially, he lived with his uncle and helped with his cousins after his aunt passed away. Tom was attending EMT school and later became a DeKalb Co. firefighter.

While working as a firefighter, Tom started Marine Specialties and juggled both careers for nearly 10 years. MSI started as just a boat lift company and later added rip rap to their services in 1997, and the new boat dock division in 2003. Tom started MSI 34 years ago and today is a leader in marine construction. If asked to pin-point a favorite division of MSI, he simply couldn’t. To Tom, MSI is his identity, but to everyone else, he wears many other hats.

Tom Child is also a loving husband, father to his twin daughters, Maddy and Abigail, friend, dog-dad to two pups and much more. Michelle Child, Tom’s wife of nearly 27 years, notes that Tom has the biggest heart. He’s always found ways to give to others. Whether it be coaching whatever sport his daughters decided they wanted to pursue (soccer, basketball, you name it!), supporting local non-profits like the Lake Lanier Association, Boys and Girls Club or Children’s Hospital of Atlanta and others. Tom is influenced by a large family at a church, who has 6 disabled children, 12 children total. He notes that this family is always so kind, happy and just a joy to watch. It’s worthy causes like this family and other local organizations that Tom and his family strive to support however possible.

“Be nice. Give a little. Even if that’s all you’ve got. You’ll get more than you’d ever imagine in return.” Tom Child spoke these words when reflecting on the organizations he’s proud to support. These are full-circle words when thinking about their humble beginnings. Tom has built something very special in MSI and it’s opened doors that were unimaginable when MSI was first started in 1988. His work has been featured in movies like Fast and the Furious and even in tanks at the Georgia Aquarium. Most importantly, Tom has built a life he loves. He spends free time traveling with family and as much time as possible outside. Whether it be riding jet skis, teaching friends and family to ski and surf while cheering loudly when they get the hang of it. Tom Child has built a life and generously shares it with so many.


An Industry Leader in Marine Construction – Marine Specialties

Marine Specialties is one of the largest marine contractors in GA and SC. Our company offers Boat Docks on Lake Lanier & Lake Hartwell and everything in between! Also, we have been one of the top dealers for HydroHoist Boat Lifts for over 30 years. We have also been one of the top dealers for Wahoo Aluminum Boat Docks for 25 years. MSI also has one of the largest fleets of service boats on the water. Our mission at Marine Specialties is to provide the highest quality products and accessories available to our customers. We specialize in HydroHoist Boat Lifts, Wahoo Aluminum Boat Docks, Boat Dock Repair and Service, Boat Dock Moving, Rip Rap Erosion Control and Shoreline Steps along with a host of boat dock accessories. We are your one stop shop for all your lake needs, and we consider customer service our #1 priority.

For more information, please visit or call (770) 531-7735.